If you’re in a hurry and just want to know which incense cones would be the best, then I would recommend,Nippon Kodo jasmine incense cones, as your best choice.
When I burned my first incense cone decades ago I had the cutest little decorative incense burner made of ivory, and my cones fit perfectly inside. At that time, though, I was clueless about finding the best incense cones to burn.
So in this post, I will share a few things I’ve learned over the years to help you find the incense cones that you like the most.
5 Of The Best Incense Cones I Could Find
1. Wide Sampling Variety: Jembrana Incense Cones
Quantity: 60 cones total
Burn Time: 35 minutes
Height: 1.6 inches
Named for the Jembrana district in the rural west coast of Bali, this is an Indonesian brand that handcrafts incense cones using local ingredients. Floral, wood, herbal, and spice powders combined with charcoal and phthalates-free fragrances. Scents include:
- Floral Goddess
- Healing Spirit
Clearly the most dominant scent is floral, so this Jembrana set would be most fitting for someone who prefers a softer, more feminine scent palette. These fragrance blends can help you relax, heal, or meditate.
Although there are fewer cones, they are larger than the standard incense cones. By volume, you might actually be getting the same amount as a pack of 120. These scents fill the room and remain even after the cones have extinguished.
- Lovely gift-ready packaging
- Balanced variety of scents
- Something for everyone
- Larger cone size
- Handmade by local Balinese
- On the expensive side
- Doesn’t include a basic burner
2. Best Natural Backflow Cones: HEM Variety Pack
Quantity: 120 cones total
Burn Time: 20-25 minutes each
Height: 1.5 inches
Forty each of handcrafted sandalwood, white sage, and palo santo backflow incense cones. You can consider this set to be earthy and woodsy. (A similar set is also available in a floral fragrance family.)
Sandalwood smells like sweet wood and generates warmth when it is burning. It’s a calming scent that can help you focus throughout the day. Palo santo is also woody but with light citrus and mint undertones.
White sage is more herbal and earthy. It’s sometimes used to cleanse the energy in a space. It can also simply be enjoyed for it’s gentle, grounding effects. Watching the smoke unfurl can enhance the calming effects of each scent.
These cones are made with sustainable vegan natural ingredients: woods, herbs, resins, and other biotics. Burn time is low, but long after the cones have extinguished, you will still smell each scent hours later.
Note that with backflow cones, you have to let the flame burn a little longer before blowing it out in order for them to flow properly.
- Makes a nice housewarming gift
- Calming fragrances to reduce anxiety
- More than one scent to try
- A solid number of cones for the price
- All natural, clean scents
- Long lasting fragrances
- Gently generates smoke that won’t choke you
- Not for those who dislike woody or earthy scents
- Requires a backflow incense burner
- Must pay attention to initial burning for them to work well
3. High Quality Low Smoke Option: Nippon Kodo Jasmine Incense Cones
Quantity: 12 cones total
Burn Time: about 9 minutes
Height: 2 3/16 inches
Based on traditional Japanese incense formulation, these cones are skillfully crafted by hand. The foundation of their incense is bark from the machilus thunbergii tree that they grind down to a powder. It is combined with either agarwood or sandalwood, and then herbal fragrances are added. And lastly, other scents are included, in this case, jasmine.
Part of their Kayuragi series, Nippon Kodo jasmine incense cones are mellow and generate very little smoke in comparison to other brands. This scent is combined with both agarwood and sandalwood, but the primary fragrance is jasmine.
Both the scent and slowly wafting smoke can help with relaxation.
Nippon Kodo conducts safety tests using air-sensing equipment from Denmark to make sure there aren’t any toxins in their incense.
A mini metal burner is included.
- Packaged ready to give
- Low smoke content
- Gentle floral scent
- Lots of care and skill applied to the production process
- Only one scent
- More expensive option
- Short burn time
4. Most Intense Fragrance: Wild Berry Dragon’s Blood Incense Cones
Quantity: 100 cones total
Burn Time: 30 minutes each
Height: 1 inch
All Wild Berry incense is charcoal-based and hand dipped in fragrance oil. Dragon’s Blood is their best-selling incense fragrance of all time, and they’ve been in operation for decades. It has a resinous but sweet scent to it that is combined with sandalwood, musk, and pine for an earthy, grounding experience.
- Well-loved fragrance
- Pretty good value for the cost
- Enchanting, earthy scent
- Strong but not overwhelming
- Only one fragrance
- Basic burner not included
- Made using synthetic oils
5. Most Traditional Fragrance: Satya Sai Nag Champa Incense Dhoop Cones
Quantity: 72 cones total
Burn Time: 30 minutes
Created using ancient traditional Indian practices, these nag champa incense cones are hand rolled using woord gums, flowers, resin, herbs, sandalwood, and honey. Considered a sacred scent in India, nag champa is smooth and earthy with spice and floral undertones.
Since there is no wooden core, this nag champa smells different from the same scent on an incense stick.
- 100% natural ingredients
- Traditional sacred fragrance
- High quantity will last a long time
- There’s only one fragrance
- Somewhat pricey
How To Search For The Best Incense Cones
While finding the best incense cones is definitely motivated by personal preference, I’ve listed below some ideas to think about in order to find the incense cones that work best for you.
What Are The Advantages to Burning Incense Cones?
Essentially, all incense cones fall into the dhoop category because they are made without a wooden core. They are conical masses of incense ingredients. If you are the kind of person who dislikes burning incense sticks because you don’t like the smell of burning wood, then you might prefer lighting incense cones.
With incense cones, you only smell the pure scent of the biological materials used to roll each cone. Usually this includes various amounts of woods, resins, barks, flower petals, herbs, possibly charcoal, and them some kind of binding agent. Various companies use different formulas to make their incense cones and it’s likely that you’ll never know the exact amount of each ingredient because they use proprietary formulas to make them.
Another advantage to burning cones is that, unlike incense sticks, incense cones create a small pile of ashes as they burn. When burning incense sticks, usually you have to use a really wide burner to try to catch all of the ashes. Sometime even then, the aches can land on the surface around the incense burner, which can get messy.
Once incense cones are done burning, though, you can simply dump the ashes from the container. There’s no need to brush the ashes off of a surface. Nor do you need to inspect the area to make sure you’ve collected all of the ashes.
So in terms of scent, incense cones have a richer, less convoluted fragrance. And in terms of cleanup, incense cones require far less maintenance.
Incense Cone Ingredients
Personally, I prefer incense that is natural and is made without any dyes, so I stay away from colorful incense cones or sticks.
Dyes are chemicals and when burning colorful incense, those chemicals are floating around as they’re carried by the smoke. As always, though, it’s a personal choice. If you like colorful cones, then go for it.
Whichever brand you choose, remember that you will be inhaling the cone ingredients as it burns. If this is a concern for you, do your research to learn more about the company making the incense to understand what ingredients and processes are used to make their incense cones.
In my opinion, the best case scenarios include, powdered biotics, essential oils, and a non-synthetic binder.
Fragrance Category Is Key
One of the primary reasons for burning incense is to fill our space with pleasant aroma. But what one person considers to be a wonderful fragrance may not be the same for another person.
Choosing Scents for Personal Reasons
So when choosing the best incense cones for your use, consider the fragrance family. In general, there are about seven different scent profiles, give or take: citrus, fresh, woodsy, fruity, floral, sweet, also called gourmand, and warm/spicy. Whether a company mentions it or not, many of them offer scents in all or most of these fragrance families.
While some incense cones are made with a single note fragrance, there can be scent overlap as well. For instance, you might find a spicy sweet fragrance blend, or a woodsy floral combination, but usually, there’s still a dominant fragrance. So if you know that you dislike floral scents, don’t force yourself to try rose incense cones. And if woodsy scents are not your favorite, you may want to steer away from sandalwood.
Of course there is always room to try new things. But when starting out or trying a new product format, you want to stick with what you like most before venturing out.
Choosing Scents for Religious or Spiritual Reasons
Another common reason to light incense cones is for spiritual or religious practice. Incense has been used this way for centuries in temples and churches around the world. So in this case, you might want to choose a fragrance that helps enhance your meditation or religious practice.
For example, frankincense and myrrh are often used in the Catholic church while sandalwood is a sacred scent in Hindu and Buddhist practices. I am not a religious expert, so light what is most common within your practice, these are loose examples only.
Whether you simply want to fill your room with pleasant fragrance or you are looking to deepen meditation or prayer, or you want to find the best scent for aromatherapy, you’ll always have a better experience when you stick with the fragrance categories that you know you like the best.
Function of the Incense Cone
In terms of function, there are two types of incense cones: traditional and backflow. With traditional cones, smoke lifts up towards the ceiling.
So when buying incense cones, pay attention to whether they are traditional or backflow so that you will know what kind of burner to use when lighting them.
Incense Cone Burners
Even if your incense cones include a small metal burner, you want to make sure to safely enjoy your incense. In this case, the little metal burners can get really warm and possibly damage the surface it’s been placed on. So always put your burners on a heat-resistant and flame-resistant surface.
It might help to put smaller burners on top of a tray that is filled with sand as the sand helps absorb and distribute heat.
Incense cone burners can be really simple or very complex, so it depends on your preference and how much room you have. When new to cone burning, I would suggest that you start with the most straightforward burner, whether it’s for traditional or backflow cones.
The simplest of solutions is to use something that you already have on hand – an old metal bowl, a leftover ceramic tile. Both are usually heat-resistant and can make a great starting point.
Incense cones are a great way to fill your house with pure, pleasant aroma.
If I were choosing a new incense cone today, it would be Nippon Kodo jasmine incense cones because jasmine is my favorite floral scent. My second choice would be Jembrana incense cones because it includes so many floral options to try.
Since we’re all sensitive to different fragrances, I suggest you choose scents that you find delightful. Also keep in mind the ingredients used to make them, whether or not enjoying them requires a special burner, and whether you’ll have a safe place in your home to burn your new incense cones.